Danny Bailey – Staff Writer
This season marks the first season since 1989-1990 that the Detroit Red Wings will not be in Stanley Cup playoffs.
It is a truly sad season for hockey fans, regardless of your team affiliation.
The Red Wings have been on a tear for the past 25 seasons.
A tear, that will probably never be matched in our time.
This era got to see future Hall of Fame legends like Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk grace the ice with their smooth hands and leadership.
We got to see them play with new generational talent like Justin Abdelkader, Tomas Tatar and Dylan Larkin.
Over the past two and a half decades, Detroit did not just do the bare minimum to make it to the playoffs and fall in the first rounds, they were arguably dominate during its streak.
Since its streak started, Detroit achieved vast amounts of success rivaled by only a few other teams.
The Red Wings hoarded 14 division championships, six Presidents’ Trophies, six conference championships and finally, four Stanley Cups.
This streak will always have a special place in my heart, not because I’m a Red Wings fan, but because I’m a Pittsburgh Penguins fan.
I started watching hockey back in the 2007-08 season.
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were flexing their might and backing up their hype while and Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lindstrom, Niklas Kronwall, and Henrik Zetterberg were in their primes.
The two goliath teams of Pittsburgh and Detroit would meet in the in the Stanley Cup finals that year, and the Detroit Red Wings beat the Penguins in Game 6 on Pittsburgh’s ice.
Detroit didn’t go into a slump during the next season, and Pittsburgh didn’t die and lose faith.
Both teams fought its way back to meet each other again in the Stanley Cup finals for the second straight year in the 2008-09 season.
This time, the series went to the final Game 7 in Detroit where the Penguins were able to return the favor and won the Stanley Cup on Detroit’s home ice.
The Penguins-Red Wings matchup wasn’t the only rivalry Detroit had during its streak.
I will also always remember the brutal and hard fought playoff series between the Red Wings and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Over the past few seasons, these two teams have met in the first round of the playoff and the rivalry grows stronger and more exciting every time these two teams face off.
The Detroit Red Wings’ 25-year playoff streak was one of the best aspects of modern hockey.
They showcased legendary talent with historic games and series while claiming many titles.
You would always ask: “Will the streak finally die this season?” “Will it continue? If so, how long will it go and how will it end?”
Unfortunately, it finally came to an end and no team may ever come close to that incredible feat again.